Bella & Beau 2018: The Nest Platform is Still Home Base

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

August 12, 2018

Bella & Beau’s two OspreyTeens have been another week ‘on the wing’, mastering their flight maneuvers, water skimming and lift-outs, and disappearing for long periods of time, most likely out exploring the open waters of the Choptank River and Chesapeake Bay, observing and learning this wide-open new world to them.

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OspreyTeen (chick) in flight.


I’ve even seen the OspreyTeens practicing by chasing each other.  Practice makes perfect!

The OspreyTeens are also probably getting fishing lessons from Bella & Beau, who still stay nearby and follow their wandering chicks.

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Bella perched close by the nest platform, keeping an eye on the OspreyTeens.


To date, I have not seen an OspreyTeen return to the nest platform or a nearby perch with a fish.  Both Bella & Beau are still delivering fish to the nest platform, usually to find one if not both OspreyTeens waiting.

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Bella bringing in the early morning breakfast to two hungry chicks.


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Both OspreyTeens patiently wait to see who is fed first as Bella lands on the perch.


Even in this past week’s heavy rain, the OspreyTeens waited for food at home base.

OspreyTeens waiting for a parent to bring them food in the heavy rain.


Protecting the OspreyTeens, nest platform, and their surrounding territory has never ceased for Bella and Beau.  Although not mentioned much in the most recent posts, there has still been constant chases and attacks on intruders who enter the nest platform territory.

Bella & Beau’s list still includes other Osprey….

Bella chasing another Osprey who flew too close to the nest platform.



Beau in pursuit of a Bald Eagle passing through the area.


Double-crested Cormorants…..


and Great Blue Herons.

Bella chasing and attacking a Great Blue Heron.


Another day, another Bella attack on a Great Blue Heron.  This is just 4 of 27 swoop attacks I photographed.  This ‘attack’ lasted seven minutes before the Great Blue Heron gave up his perch and flew away.



A Great Blue Heron quite agitated by Bella’s attack.


I’ve even noticed recently that warning calls are sent out to Vultures that pass over, which is unusual.

The OspreyTeens are still practicing the need to protect themselves as well, but I’m still seeing only gull chases.


The OspreyTeens do keep their eye on overhead Osprey and the Great Blue Herons and Cormorants below them but leave that scare attack to Bella & Beau for now.

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Bella alarming at overhead Vultures but doesn’t pursue a chase.


If an OspreyTeen belly isn’t hungry, the nest platform sits empty most of the time now.  On occasion Bella herself will perch on the home she established, enjoying the quiet solitude.

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Bella “home alone”.


September is quickly nearing, which means Bella, Beau, and the OspreyTeens will soon get their instinct to fly south, each alone, as far as Central or South America for the winter.

I’ll discuss more in detail about this upcoming migration in my next Bella & Beau series post.

In the meantime, let’s hope the OspreyTeens master their fishing skills!

(For all the posts on Bella & Beau’s 2018 season, you can click HERE.)



44 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2018: The Nest Platform is Still Home Base

  1. The teens will have to learn and hone their fishing skills before thinking of migrating anywhere! I think they are spoiled by their generous parents and expect them to do all the fishing. Nice post Donna, great photos too! 🙂

  2. Great images of the multiple attacks and chases! It looks like the teens are coming along well in their flying skills, and as I have with the other posts in this series, I love the way that you’re able to educate those of us who seldom see the daily live’s of osprey.

    • Thank you, Jerry! Think of all the energy those attacks take! There are so many GBH’s around the creek, I’ve seen five at once, so they do keep Bella & Beau busy. I’m waiting for a teen to try it, lol. Poor GBHs, they really aren’t a threat to an Osprey nest, but I’ve seen many attacks on them over the years, I’m guessing because of their stature/size when perched nearby. Hope your area Osprey are doing well and the chicks are flying now!

  3. Another beautiful series, Donna! Poor Bella doesn’t seem to get a moment’s peace! Both of our chicks have fledged but I don’t have a good vantage point for watching their activity unless I relocate permanently to our dock – so I am enjoying ‘vicariously’ your pictures and assume ‘my’ pair is going through the same learning process. Thanks, as always, for sharing!

    • Thank you, Susan! Does any mom ever get a moment’s peace?!!! 😉 Yes, Bella is head-strong, and she seems to take over the total care the way she wants it. Glad to hear your Osprey nest was successful this year too. We were out on our boat several days ago and all chicks have fledged on all the Osprey nests we saw. It’s a happy feeling to know so many are ‘on the wing’ now, mastering their final skills for that long, dangerous migration coming up.

    • Thank you Eliza! The teen’s feather pattern with the beige feather tips is stunning, I can remember those tips just appearing and thinking I couldn’t wait to see them in full plumage in flight. 🙂

  4. Excellent pictures again. Are the ospreys really under threat from the heron or do they just like to show that they are the kings of their own territory?

    • Thank you Tom! No, the Osprey really are not under any threat with a GBH. It’s more that the Osprey feel apprehensive with the GBH’s stature and size while being perched close/below the nest. The Osprey will not chase or sound any alarms on a passing GBH in flight like they do with other Osprey, hawks, or eagles. Bella & Beau certainly would not like to know that GBHs love to perch on Osprey nest platforms over the fall & winter. 🙂

  5. Great Osprey photos again, Donna! That and the educational tidbits about their lives make coming to your blog one of the best experience in the blogosphere.

  6. Stunning shots Donna of the mum and chicks, the pattern on the youngsters plumage is quite attractive. You certainly have been keeping track on the progress of this family, and thankfully Beau and Bella are doing a great job protecting their brood. Enjoy your week!

    • I agree with you, Jane! 🙂 I don’t think either teen is fishing on their own yet, the last two days I’ve seen them both at the same time on the platform a few times, begging loudly for food. So until they master fishing, they’re gonna be here a few more weeks for sure. Yay! Because when they do go, I will miss them ….. 🙂

    • It certainly is a wild world, Tanja. There are times that humans are to blame for the unusual behaviors that are occurring more with wildlife. I wonder at times what will this world be like for my three little grandsons after I am long gone….. 😪

  7. Some truly amazing shots here. Showed them to Eric and we are both extremely impressed. Especially the attacks on the GBH. Looks like the Heron might have got a wing clipped a bit.

    • Thank you Gunta! They happen so fast, I’m not so focused but I think they portray the gist of it all. Yep, I think he hit the GBH. Poor fella, he just wants to hang out here and fish! 🙂

  8. The tell of the Osprey family by Donna, you are doing this tell so impressively and with beautiful imagery. You’ll have a hard time topping this tell next year ……. 🙂 I have enjoyed this greatly!

    • Thank you John! I am glad you’re enjoying it! I know your love for birds, so you understand how entertaining this Osprey family has been for me, and I am glad to share! 🙂

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